Dark areas on negatives

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by philip_maus, May 13, 2008.

  1. Help! I started doing my own B&W processing about....30 rolls of film ago (or 2 months if you like) and I've just begun to notice this tone inconsistency in my 6x6 negs. It's really apparent in this photo with the clear sky. I'm still new to this and haven't yet seen the common problems. I'm thinking it could be inadequate fixing, but have mixed a new batch of fixer and the problem is still there. I have been shooting Kodak Tmax and Tri-X 400, but the attached photo is on HP5. I am using Kodak Tmax Developer with Kodak stop bath and Kodak Fixer. I am very careful about times and temps, and used all new chemicals for the attached photo. Oh, I have been fixing for 6-8 minutes in 70-72C solution, after developing a 68C for prescribed time. I was concerned about a light leak in the [Hasselblad A12] film back, but this doesn't show up in all framed as far as I can tell. Could someone please take a look at this photo and render an opinion? Thanks much in advance!
    00PTUJ-43553584.jpg
     
  2. Looks like a light leak to me. Could vary from frame to frame depending on how long the film was wound to that frame and on how exposed to light the back was.
     
  3. PS could also be light leaking in from sloppy handling of the roll -- i.e., the paper backing isn't wound tight.
     
  4. Could be a light leak, but since you are just starting to develop your own film I'd also wager that your agitation technique has something to do with it, since the fog is suspiciously along the two edges that go against the reel. What is your agitation method?
     
  5. Do you use plastic reels? If so then I'd also suggest that your agitation technique is causing the extra density around the edges. I've seen it on my own negs when I first started processing 120 film. I give six inversions of the tank in the first 30 seconds then one inversion every 30 seconds after that.
     
  6. I too believe you have an agitation problem. My first suggestion would be to leave sufficient air space in your tank to allow for free movement of developer through and around your reel(s). I moved up to a 32oz SS tank for just that reason but the larger tank also allows more flexibility with developer dilution without worrying if I have enough stock or concentrate to get the job done. Typically I develop one roll at a time with three SS reels ( 2 - 120/ 1- 35mm) using from 16 to 28oz of solution depending on the developer and dilution. For sure others get great results in smaller tanks filled to overflowing but the less is better approach has worked for me. One last thing - I drop the loaded reel into the developer rather then pouring through the top. I too went through the increased edge density thing and it literally drove me crazy until I started changing the way I did things. Keep careful notes as you make changes and shoot lots of even toned subjects so you can easily evaluate your results.
     
  7. Thanks much for all your responses. I thought a little about agitation too, as I'm using a Paterson type tank, plastic reels (that I can actually manage to load), and have been agitating only by turning the little 'cam action' knob thing that goes in the top of the tank. I had been getting what I believed to be decent results, but then recently got thinking maybe I should fill the tank to the top with the developer. I should have thought about that little change I made before asking this question. I think I'll try a couple different agitation techniques with a little less developer and see how it all comes out.
     
  8. Philip, read my comments on using plastic tank/reel systems in this thread:

    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00PTSo

    It's absolutely essential to fill plastic tanks to the top when using twist paddle agitation. This type of agitation works perfectly well, but plastic tanks require their own unique techniques, including rapping the sides to dislodge bubbles rather than banging the bottom on the counter top, avoiding inversion agitation, etc.
     
  9. Yep, light leak.
     
  10. Two things come to mind and they've been said: too vigorous agitation pattern and
    light leak. But the light leak can come from squeezing the roll in the middle, thereby
    flaring the ends out when loading/unloading. Be careful with that.
     

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